18 August 2009

Fliers Stuck In Plane 6 Hours

The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - Forty-seven passengers were forced to sit in a cramped, smelly plane on an airport tarmac for six hours after their flight was diverted because of bad weather.The Friday night Continental Express flight from Houston to Minneapolis was scheduled to take just 2 1/2 hours, but the plane was diverted to Rochester because of stormy weather and landed about midnight.
Instead of allowing passengers to disembark and spend the night in the secure section of the terminal, however, the airline decided to keep the passengers onboard the aircraft, airport officials said Monday.

"It's not like you're on a Boeing 747 and you can walk around," Link Christin, a professor at William Mitchell College of Law, told the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune. "This was a sardine can, with a single row of seats on one side of the plane and two rows of seats on the other. And they've got about 50 people inside, including babies, for the whole night. It was a nightmare."
ExpressJet Airlines, the flight's operator, couldn't allow passengers to disembark because the airport's security screeners had gone home for the night, company spokeswoman Kristy Nicholas said.

Airport officials said the airline could have allowed people into the secure section of the terminal. Continental Airlines issued a statement Monday apologizing to the passengers, calling the incident "completely unacceptable" and saying it was offering refunds and vouchers.
and later reboarded the airplane for their flight to Minneapolis.

Passengers were allowed into the terminal at 6 a.m., six hours after landing — that Flight 2816. "It was almost a surreal quality that kind of developed during the night," passenger Link Christin said. "It felt like you were trapped in a cave underground."

In the end, it took 12 hours and a new flight crew for Flight 2816 to complete its journey. There have been longer waits on airport tarmacs in recent years — passengers on a February 2007 JetBlue flight waited 11 hours at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport — but the Flight 2816 delay gives the airline industry another black eye and could give a lift to legislation aimed at preventing such nightmare scenarios.

Continental Airlines on Monday deferred most questions to ExpressJet Airlines, the regional carrier that operated the flight. But Continental did issue an apology to passengers, calling it "completely unacceptable" and offering refunds and vouchers for future travel. Flight 2816 left Houston at 9:23 p.m. Friday, scheduled to arrive in Minneapolis by midnight.

Instead, severe weather forced air controllers to divert the plane south to Rochester, where it landed after midnight.In Minneapolis, Continental's dispatchers decided to wait out the storms rather than cancel the flight and bus passengers the remaining 85 miles.Christin said a female voice shouted back asking if anyone wanted a drink.

"For the next five hours, there was no offer of drink or food," said Christin, a St. Paul resident returning from visiting his father. The flight was cleared to take off at 2 a.m., but the storms started up again. The passengers remained calm, Christin said. But he described a difficult environment where sleep was scarcely possible, with babies crying out every 5 to 10 minutes and not enough blankets or pillows to go around.

Passengers on another flight that had been diverted to the airport in Rochester, Minn., because of storms were allowed to disembark and were put on a bus that would take them the 85 miles to Minneapolis. And the terminal, where passengers could at least stretch their legs, breathe fresh air and use the vending machines, was a mere 50 yards away.

Adding to the frustration were periodic announcements that led passengers to think they would soon be moving. One announcement said a bus would soon arrive to take them to Minneapolis; an hour later, passengers were told the bus wasn't ready. At 5 a.m., the flight got clearance again. But by then, its crew had worked more than the legal limit of hours. Another crew had to be flown in.

It wasn't until 6 a.m. that ExpressJet let the passengers off the plane to enter the terminal. And it took 2 1/2 hours for the passengers to re-board the same plane — still with a full, smelly toilet — to head to Minneapolis. They landed at 9:15 a.m., almost a half-day after leaving Houston. Kristy Nicholas, a spokeswoman for ExpressJet Airlines, said passengers couldn't go to the Rochester terminal to wait out the storms because they would have needed to redo their security screening and screeners had gone home.

The airport's manager, Steven Leqve, said that wasn't true. Leqve said passengers could have waited in a secure area until their plane was cleared to leave."This is not an airport issue. This is an airline issue," he said. The Rochester airport took in another diverted flight, a Northwest plane from Phoenix, just before Flight 2816 landed. The more than 50 passengers on that plane were placed on a bus and made it to Minneapolis by 1:30 a.m. Leqve said the Delta manager in Rochester offered space on the bus to Continental, which declined.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee's aviation operations subcommittee, said the incident underscored the need to pass legislation setting a three-hour limit for an airplane to sit on the tarmac without passengers being allowed off. A so-called passenger bill of rights that would do just that recently passed the Commerce Committee and awaits action in the full Senate."There needs to be some common sense used in these cases and it seems to me these folks have a right to complain very seriously about what happened," Dorgan said.

The Air Transport Association, which represents a group of airlines that includes Continental, has resisted the legislation in the past. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Merida said the group continues to believe the legislation "will ultimately end up inconveniencing passengers rather than helping them."Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the bill would be considered by the Senate "at some point in the fall."

17 August 2009

Republic Wins Bid for Frontier, Beating Southwest

August 14, 2009, 5:54 am — Updated: 3:28 pm -->
Republic Airways won the bankruptcy court auction for Frontier Airlines on Thursday, buying the Denver-based carrier for almost $108.8 million after Southwest Airlines’s rival bid was rejected.

Southwest said its $170 million bid was deemed unacceptable because the carrier would not back down from a requirement that its pilots and Frontier’s work out their integration before the deal would close.
Frontier said Republic made several improvements to its original June bid and has already received federal antitrust approval for the deal. A bankruptcy judge had approved Republic’s earlier bid but left open the door for another bidder.
Frontier said the plan calls for it and regional unit Lynx ”to maintain normal operations” as a stand-alone Republic subsidiary. Because of that, Denver travelers may see little change. But the deal is huge for Republic.

Until now, Indianapolis-based Republic has strictly been an operator of regional jets for big airlines like Delta, United, and US Airways. Now, between Frontier and its recent purchase of Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines, it’s jumping into the business of competing for passengers and setting its own schedules and prices.
That may not be so bad, said a Jesup & Lamont Securities Company airline analyst, Helane Becker.
Republic is well-run, she said, and anyway the old regional airline model is suffering as big carriers squeeze their regional partners and cut capacity, including regional flights.
”The major airlines can just crush these guys like a bug” in the regional business, she said.
Republic’s bid has it buying all of Frontier Holdings when that company emerges from Chapter 11 protection, which is expected later this year. It also agreed to waive any recovery on its $150 million general unsecured claim. The plan calls for current Frontier shareholders to receive nothing.
”Frontier has made impressive strides in returning to sustained profitability in a challenging and uncertain economic environment,” Republic’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, Bryan Bedford, said in a written statement.
Republic had loaned money to Frontier during its Chapter 11 reorganization, which began in April 2008. In June it offered to buy Frontier out of bankruptcy.
Southwest’s surprise bid, which eventually reached $170 million including repayment of Republic’s loan, looked likely to win. Southwest had enough cash to simply write a check for Frontier, and it had the motive. Southwest has turned Denver into one of its crucial airports, but it faced strong competition both from Frontier and UAL’sUnited, which has a hub there. Buying Frontier would have eliminated one of those competitors outright.

12 August 2009

No Real Man Would Wear Them!!!

Family, There's a song, a dance and the clothing line to support this fashion (wonder???)

Skinny Jeans on men!!! (Black Men at that are wearing them!)Is this some new form of Homo-Thug or just straight up gay way to dress!!!

Even real gay men don't dress like this!!! It's one thing if the fellas give you crap about it but women are saying the samething!!! Men have no business wearing these and then sagging to boot!!! OMG!!!!

I got it, this is the new "Emo-Thug" look!!!There is a reason these jeans/pants died in the 80's!!! If you haven't seen the video the link is below!

11 August 2009

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly on Bid for Frontier

Mon, 08/10/2009 - 13:30 — Paula Berg

A press release was issued today announcing that Southwest Airlines has submitted a proposal to acquire Frontier Airlines, which will be sold at auction in bankruptcy court this month. The following memo was sent to all Southwest Airlines Employees from our CEO, Gary Kelly.

This morning Southwest Airlines submitted a bid of more than $170 million to acquire Frontier Airlines, which has been in bankruptcy since April 2008. We understand an auction will commence later this week in New York. Once the auction is concluded, the bankruptcy court must approve the selection of the winning bidder.

So really, we just don’t know when it will be that we’ll hear about these results, but I commit that we’ll keep you informed as we go.
We believe Southwest’s bid represents the best possible longterm scenario for Frontier, its Employees, and the Denver traveling public. Southwest brings to the table the most consistently profitable airline in commercial aviation history, the best Customer Service record in the industry (as repeatedly determined by the Department of Transportation), an Employee-centric Culture, and low fares.

If we are successful in our bid, Southwest will offer a financially stable, Customer friendly, low fare alternative to the dominant carrier in Denver into the future.
I have seen and read speculation and reports as to why Southwest would be interested in acquiring Frontier. Simply enough, Frontier is for sale, and purchasing them would allow us to increase our Customer base in a city where we want to grow. Frontier also is a stellar airline with a great reputation known for quality Customer Service, passionate Employees, and low fares. Sound familiar?

Those are the three main ingredients that Southwest Airlines was founded on more than 38 years ago, and those three values remain at the core of our DNA today. While there are obviously some differences in our companies, we also see a lot of similarities.
I have also seen some speculation as to why this move makes sense for Southwest Airlines. Southwest is a growth company. Who would have ever thought 38 years ago that we would grow from offering service between three Texas cities to carrying more passengers than any other carrier in the United States?

Pretty remarkable, and even more remarkable is the fact that we have grown while being profitable for 36 consecutive years – a feat unmatched and unheard of the airline industry!
We began serving Denver in January 2006 with just 40 Employees and 13 daily nonstop flights. Today, we have nearly 400 Denver Employees and operate 113 daily nonstop flights to 34 destinations from the Mile High city, making Denver the fastest growing city in our history, and already among our top 10 airports (out of 66 and growing) that we serve in terms of daily departures.

It’s clear Colorado Customers appreciate our low fares, great service, and convenient schedule to places they want to go.
If our bid is successful, we will return to growth mode in the midst of a deep recession, expand our network in Denver to include many attractive destinations that we don’t currently serve today, and offer Denver travelers a stable, low fare airline with legendary Customer Service to compete against the dominant carrier at DIA.

Through this acquisition, Southwest will continue to provide Denver a financially stable source of its historically low fares well into the future. There should be no doubt; the bankruptcy process will require some change to Frontier in any scenario. Given Southwest's history and track record of running a successful airline, we believe that our bid is the best option on the table for Frontier, Southwest, and the traveling public.

A successful acquisition of Frontier Airlines by Southwest will expand our network of legendary low fares to additional cities, add jobs into Southwest through growth, and strengthen low-fare competitive pressure in Denver and other cities.

To listen to a conference call held today to discuss Southwest’s bid proposal with Ron Ricks, Executive Vice President Corporate Services and Corporate Secretary, and Bob Jordan, Executive Vice President, Strategy and Planning, please click HERE.

06 August 2009

Shannon Is First Euro Airport with Full U.S. Pre-Clearance

Western Ireland’s Shannon Airport has become the first airport outside Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean to provide full U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) pre-clearance facilities for transatlantic flights to U.S. destinations.

Shannon Airport had been providing U.S. immigration pre-clearance since a successful initial trial in 1986, but customs and agriculture inspections for each flight’s passengers still had to be performed upon their arrival in the U.S. However, signing of a pre-clearance agreement on November 14, 2008 in Washington D.C. by Irish Transport Minister Noel Dempsey and senior U.S. officials paved the way for Shannon to become the first airport outside of the U.S., Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean to provide full U.S. pre-clearance facilities.

Shannon Airport immediately began work on a new passenger screening area; inspection area; post-clearance passenger holding lounges; a secure and segregated baggage holding area; and staff offices. All were required for the new facility. The facilities were designed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Shannon Airport in western Ireland has become the first airport outside Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda to offer full U.S. Customs and Border Patrol pre-clearance facilities for flights to U.S. destinations

Shannon Airport in western Ireland has become the first airport outside Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda to offer full U.S. Customs and Border Patrol pre-clearance facilities for flights to U.S. destinations

Dan Rooney, the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, visited Shannon Airport today to welcome passengers travelling with Continental, Delta and US Airways to the United States. These were the first passengers to be cleared through Shannon’s new US pre-clearance service facility. The passengers encountered no further checks at Newark, JFK and Philadelphia airports, the respective destinations of the three airlines’ flights.

Martin Moroney, Shannon Airport’s director, says the service will open up very significant opportunities for business development for Shannon.

“This is an historic day for our airport and, indeed, a milestone moment in Irish-US relations,” says Moroney. “Shannon is the first airport in Ireland to have these facilities in place, and [it] represents a major upgrade of the pre-inspection which commenced in 1986. It is a very proud moment for us and we look forward to maximising this opportunity in the years ahead.”

While the pre-clearance service began today with commercial flights provided by major US carriers, preclearance for general aviation flights, including corporate jets, is scheduled to begin later in the year. Shannon Airport says the attractiveness of the service is already reflected in British Airways’ decision to have a transit stop in Shannon and avail of pre-clearance at the same time on its new all-business service from London City to New York JFK, which starts in September.

Pat Shanahan , the chairman of Shannon Airport Authority, said last November that the pre-clearance agreement would create a significant advantage for Shannon over other European airports, as well as raising the profile of the Shannon Airport and the West of Ireland brands considerably throughout the world.

In addition to fast-tracking access for passengers flying from or through Shannon to U.S. international airports, pre-clearance would also enable services to be established directly to any domestic US airport, he said. This would make Shannon an ideal airport for low-cost transatlantic carriers and open the way for significant executive-jet business into any location in the US.

Shannon Airport's ability to offer full U.S. CPB pre-clearance facilities means that commercial and business-aviation lfights alike will be able to fly to any U.S. airport from Shannon as long as its runway is long enough, not just international gateways

Shannon Airport's ability to offer full U.S. CPB pre-clearance facilities means that commercial and business-aviation lfights alike will be able to fly to any U.S. airport from Shannon as long as its runway is long enough, not just international gateways

“This agreement has the potential for Shannon to emerge as a major transatlantic aviation gateway. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of transatlantic flights daily in and out of Shannon, which will strengthen revenue through increased landing and handling charges and support employment levels at the airport in the process,” Shanahan said in November.

Moroney added that having full pre-clearance at Shannon would also reduce processing costs and connection times for airlines, enhancing the airport’s attractiveness to carriers ― not least those already operating transatlantic services at Shannon ― and also business-aviation operators.

Full U.S. CBP pre-clearance facilities are also due to open at Dublin airport by November 2010, according to the Irish Times.

by Chris Kjelgaard

05 August 2009

Continental flight 128 to Houston Makes Emergency Landing in Miami

Severe turbulence forced a Continental Airlines flight to land at Miami International Airport (KMIA)

Monday morning after at least 26 people were hurt, said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesman Elkin Sierra.

Continental flight 128 was heading from Rio de Janeiro (SBGL) to Houston (KIAH) with 168 people on board, said MIA spokesman Marc Henderson. According to the Federal Aviation Association, the plane reported turbulence around 4:30 a.m. and landed safely in Miami KMIA at 5:30 a.m.

Of the 26 injured, 14 were taken to area hospitals. Twenty-two are said to be in stable condition and four are in serious condition.

From Sky 10, rescue crews could be seen using catering trucks to move the passengers off the plane and onto the tarmac where several ambulances waited to transport the injured to the hospital. The catering trucks were used as elevators to prevent further injury to passengers once they were stabilized, Sierra said.
Eight people were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital and three to Mercy Hospital with non-lifethreatening conditions. It is not yet known where the others were taken.
A passenger on the flight told Local 10 the remaining passengers were taken off the plane.

04 August 2009

Where To Legally Join The Mile High Club

Hello All BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!

So if you were ever wondering about what goes on in the aircraft bathrooms on the red-eye flights from the West Coast to the East Coast, here is a easier way to get your groove on at 35000' feet! join the Mile High Club and there are airlines that actually exist to test your freakier side! Flying for the airlines I have seen my fair share of people who feel the need to "do the do" and have something to talk about with each other for years to come. Now the airline bathrooms are about as big as a pantry closet in your home but cleanliness is not exactly what I would call it that's for sure!

Most people opt for the under the blanket, in the back couple of rows, dark late flights or overnight international flights to get a little stress reliever. The buzz kill is if you get caught it can be very embarrassing or even valid enough to have you arrested and or jailed! So that's where Mile High Club type airlines come into the picture.

One airline is in Australia and a little more real working airline and one that does it in Arizona for the Burning Man event in the dessert and that looks like a guy who knows Jimmy Buffet, happens to have a plane and will let you and your significant other play for about an hour! It's not for everyone but most people do think about it and if you have, read on and see some of the history and what still is a thrill and taboo in the world of aviation and the airlines!


Now it has never been more difficult to join the Mile High Club than it is today. Even if two of you successfully make it into the bathroom, that darn space has gotten so small that you can barely go about your usual business; forget sexy affairs.

In response to these hassles, at least two aviation groups have sprung up, solely specializing in flights for Mile High Club membership:
A legit (enough) operation out of Queensland, Australia, they'll fly lovers up in twin-engine Beech H-18S from Redcliffe Airport, Nathan Road, Redcliffe Peninsular. Flights for a couple start at $570 for a 40-minute flight, and include champagne, chocolates, a safe sex kit, and a certificate of Mile High membership.

Tack on another $63 per extra passenger, until the onboard double bed is packed full, should you desire. The semi-NSFW website is worth a glance, if only to be highly entertained at their copious use of the words "sexperience" and "sexpedition."

Mile High Club at Burning Man

When the desert frolickers at the Burning Man festival aren't creating and then destroying giant sculptures, they're making time for novelty sex. This is not as concrete an operation as Erotic Airways, but with Burning Man coming up at the end of this month, we figured some of you might want to keep an eye out.

Here's what the airplane, airport, and terminal look like, and it's piloted by the "pilot" in this picture. Judging from that last picture, heading up in the skies to over Black Rock City will yield you a certificate of Mile High Club membership as well.

We've got no leads on pricing or timing of this one, but if you happen by "Fractal Pilot" while in the desert later this month for Burning Man Black Rock City, do let us know ... for research reasons. Right? Research reasons!

Airline grounds 'mile-high club' aboard new giant jet

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard the A380 super-jumbo jet. Fasten your seat belts and be sure your seat back and tray table are in the complete upright position. And please — no sex."

Though you're not likely to hear that over the intercom, Singapore Airlines today asked that prospective A380 passengers stow their airborne ardor until they land, the BBC and Reuters report.

The announcement comes just a week after the airline became the first carrier to fly the monster plane, traveling between Singapore and Sydney. The first-class cabin contains 12 private suites with double beds, an almost irresistible temptation for MHC frequent fliers. Trouble is, they're not totally sealed or sound-proofed. (Hey, what do you expect for $14,320?)

"All we ask of customers, wherever they are on our aircraft, is to observe standards that don't cause offense to other customers and crew," the airline's statement said.
Earlier, we wrote about that for some folks, it's join the mile-high club, go directly to jail.

Aboard SQ A-380, Nicer than most apartments but aboard a plane!

Mile high club (History)

The mile high club (or MHC) is a slang term applied collectively to individuals who have engaged in sexual intercourse while on board an aircraft in flight. There is no known formally constituted club so named. However, since "membership" of the "club" is really a matter of an individual asserting they have qualified, the qualifications for membership are open to some interpretation.

Some people attribute the allure of the club to the lower atmospheric pressure in the flight cabin, which they claim increases the intensity of orgasms.[citation needed] Another explanation is the vibration of the airplane, which may make arousal easier.
Others say they have fantasies about pilots or flight attendants, or a fetish about planes themselves. For many others, perhaps the majority, the appeal of joining the MHC is the thrill of doing something taboo and the thrill of the risk of being discovered.

A website using the name Mile high club humorously claims the "club's" "founder" as pilot and design engineer Lawrence Sperry along with "socialite Mrs. Waldo Polk" citing their possibly anecdotal flight in an autopilot-equipped Curtiss Flying Boat near New York in November 1916.

The American transportation authority NTSB reports a documented case in which sexual activity is at least partly responsible for an aviation accident.

H-16 Curtiss Flying Boat circa 1917

UPDATE: Another operator out there offers MHC flights!

Well FYI, here is some updated info on MHC operators and it's called Mile High Flights! It's based in the UK and they actually have a nice airplane with plenty of room. The Cessna Grand Caravan is a very good airplane and suitable for providing this kind of service. Looks like they thought it through, from pillows and plankets down to the roses and an aircraft length curtain for some privacy! Now regular rules apply for take-off and landing so that's the only thing that makes this flight like any others at least with one major exception! Check this one out because it looks a little more legit and well thought out!
We have tried to make Mile High Flights as accessible to everyone as possible and there are options to suit every budget.

There are 2 options to choose from. You can add deluxe packages to these and if you require something a little more extravagant we are more than happy to help you out.

This is our most popular flight. The experience will last just over 1 hour with 40 minutes in the air. This gives you plenty of time to relax and get into the mood and enjoy the views inside and outside the aircraft.

This is the most exclusive of our standard packages. The whole exerience will last about 1hr 30 mins with a full 60 minutes in the air. This will provide you and your partner ample time to indulge in your ultimate fantasies and experience an adventure fit for Hollywood

On arrival at the Gloucestershire Airport (Staverton) you will be met by your 'Captain' who will help put you at ease and answer any questions you have. Before boarding, your Captain will run through the simple but essential safety instructions.

Once on aboard, If you have opted to sample from the 'Deluxe' option, your chilled Champagne and Strawberries will be waiting for you to get you in the mood before the captain lets you know when it is safe to begin your initiation.

The fast climbing aircraft will be one mile high within 5 minutes of takeoff. At that time, you will have between 25 and 35 minutes of privacy to take in the views outside and of course...... those private views inside.

You and your loved one will remain totally undisturbed except for the hum of the engines and the sunlight through the cabin windows. We have provided a comfortable mattress with sumptious duvets, pillows, cushions and blankets to relax on.

After the flight you will be presented with a Mile High Flight 'Certificate of Initiation' before pausing for a photo to remember your adventure by.

A perfect trip for any romantic couple and a wonderful way to celebrate any event from Birthdays, Anniveraries, Engagements or just to let them know... you love them.

This is no ordinary 'little' plane.
Were not talking 4 seater. Were not talking 6 seater... You will be flying in the largest single engine aircaft in the world.
The Cessna Grand Caravan is a unique plane perfect for this adventure providing ample space, luxury and privacy.

The Cessna Caravan has an unrivalled safety record and is widely regarded as one of the best 'small' commercial aircraft in the aviation world. You might say its perfect for safe sex !!
Your captain has over years and miles of experience and will make your take-off, flight and landing an exciting, relaxing experience you will never forget.
A full safety briefing will be given prior to boarding the aircraft. Seatbelts must be worn during take-off and landing. You will be notified by the Captain when you may remove your seatbelts.
All flights are only suitable for consenting adults (aged 18 and over).

If there are adverse weather conditions (e.g. low cloud) your flight may have to be postponed. Please make sure you call the 'terminal' prior to travelling to the airport to confirm that the flight is going ahead. If your experience is cancelled due to weather or technical problems you will be offered an alternative date.

Flights may be booked during daylight hours between May and October. Special flights may be available at Christmas and Valentines (plus other times) but cannot be guaranteed and may be subject to a premium.
Contact us for more information
If you would like to discuss any aspect of your future flight or you require any further information please contact us on: 07960 858 747 or emailinfo@milehighflights.co.uk

Please allow at least 4 weeks between your booking and flight dates.